As mentioned in this article over at The Trust Advisor Blog, the stakes are now raised on what Congress will do about the estate tax as a billionaire recently died. With no estate tax in 2010 (as it stands now), it seems he may have passed his $9 billion (with a “b”) estate to his heirs completely free of estate tax. If last year’s estate tax rules were still in effect now, the IRS could have collected roughly $4 billion (with a “b”) in estate tax on the estate.
As the article points out, it must be awfully tempting for Congress to reinstate the estate tax in 2010 at its 2009 level and, they say, make it retroactive to the first of the year. I have to imagine that, given the amount of money at stake now, any attempt at retroactively enacting the estate tax would be challenged tooth and nail by an army of lawyers on Mr. Duncan’s behalf. It will be very interesting to watch, that’s for sure. I’ll make sure to keep you updated as I learn more.